Poppin C dances during a photoshoot in Lausanne, on February 24, 2020
© Torvioll Jashari/Red Bull Content Pool

10 things you need to know about Poppin'C

We met Swiss popping dancer Poppin'C to talk about his background, dance career and goals for the future. Find out how he became a dancer and why he thinks that you need to dream big.
By Tracy Kawalik
6 min readPublished on
The pioneers of popping might have hailed from Fresno, California, but from an early age, on the other side of the globe, Switzerland's Poppin'C was determined to carve out his own legacy.
Growing up in Lausanne, Switzerland, Poppin'C knew he wanted to follow in his mom's footsteps, who was a dancer. After accompanying her to a class, he hit the studio hard and wasted no time honing his skills and setting his goals to the maximum.
A decade later, Poppin'C's won over 150 battles. He put his country on the map last summer by winning the Dance Your Style qualifier and a place at the world finals. Not to mention he's in high demand to perform, battle and teach workshops worldwide.
On a steady rise, with no signs of slowing down, we caught up with Poppin'C mid studio sesh to find out about more about his journey, how he's conditioning himself between battles and what we can expect from the dancer next.
Be sure to check out the Dance City Guide Lausanne to see Poppin'C in Action.

1 min

Tour Lausanne with Poppin'C

Roll through the iconic spots Lausanne, Switzerland, has to offer with your dancing tour guide Poppin'C.

English +1

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He is following in the footsteps of his mother

"My mom was a dancer from when she was very, very young. She danced hip-hop but had to stop because she got pregnant. She restarted dance when I was 10 years old, going back to gip hop and picking up dancehall too and sometimes popping."
"My mom inspired me A LOT and still does. From an early age I wanted to be a dancer like her. She saw how much I really loved opping and locking so finally decided to let me try and take me to class with her. I was 12 or 13 years old at the time, and after that, from that point, I never stopped. "

Poppin'C met his idols on film

"I watched a lot of movies with Micheal Jackson and like every dancer was really into his style. But when my mom showed me the VHS of Beat Street from '84, that was the first time I got to witness my idols. That was when I saw popping legends like Poppin Taco, Poppin Pete and Shabadoo. It totally blew my mind."

Winning isn't everything

"In a battle my style is clean and confident. My dance is a part of me, and when I'm battling in a round, my performative side takes over. I practice a lot before and focus on my opponent, but it's more about pure feeling and freestyle. Yeah, I like to win, but victory isn't what's driving me. What's driving me the most is my adrenaline and the rush. By knowing that people from all over the world are seeing my skills; that's what matters the most. "

But he has won alot

"Since I started popping I've won more than 150 battles. But the first one, and the one that I was very proud of was in 2010 when I won Juste Debout Switzerland. I had only started learning popping in October 2009. The next year I won the Swiss pre-selection at Juste Debout. So I'm very proud of it and also when I won the Dance Your Style Qualifier and a spot at the world final last year. That was big as well."
Popping C poses for a portrait during the Red Bull Dance Your Style World Final at la Grande Halle de La Villette in Paris, France on October 8, 2019.
Poppin'C at the Red Bull Dance Your Style World Final in 2019

His toughest competitor is himself

"Whether I'm inside the studio or in a battle, I apply the same ethos; "My toughest competitor is myself, and I believe nothing is impossible." I practice almost always. It's become a way of life for me. I've been doing it for so long that it doesn't feel like I have a routine."

Patience is one of his strengths

"Every morning, I do a cardio workout. I eat healthily and in the afternoon I practice popping. I do a warm-up with drill pops and then freestyle while focusing on foundations. It might be that I take something like one twist of the legs and grow and level up from there. The point is, each day I rework, refine, perfect and reinvent the foundations and the basics so that I strengthen my dance."
Poppin C poses for a portrait during a photoshoot in Lausanne, on February 24, 2020.
Patience and focus help Poppin'C to reach his goals

It's all about the west coast

"When the music isn't in the DJ's hands like it is at battles and jams, I listen to rappers like Snoop Dogg, NWA, funk and g-funk. The music is everything for me, because the way my body adapts and moves, is because of the way I feel the music."
But Poppin'C's love for the west coast doesn't end with getting hyped by California rappers. He's also a member of French popping crew WEST GANG and pays homage to his idols and the genre's roots every time he steps on the dancefloor "My popping style is a nod to its birthplace for sure. LA is the dream place for me. I love Cali lifestyle, and that's where popping was born, so it would mean everything to take my dancing there and live there in the future"

Hard work pays off

"If I have some advice for the new generation I would say to them, just be yourself and try to believe in yourself, because everything is possible. Trust me, I'm from Switzerland, I should know! Popping started in Fresno, and in 2020, I have a name in the game... worldwide. The key is to be focused in your mind and never give up.
Don't be in a hurry. Hard work always pays, so practice hard. The way you stay at the top is to know your body, have a healthy lifestyle, control your mind, stay strong, and after that... never ever stop."
Poppin'C performs at the Red Bull Dance Your Style Pre-World Final at Élysée Montmartre, Paris, France on October 9, 2019.
Poppin'C has serious body control

He gives back by passing on the knowledge

"Today, my biggest challenge is to keep growing as a dancer and teach more and more. I've already had the opportunity to teach in a lot of countries, but there's still a couple on my list. I was the first popper from Switzerland to teach in Asia, so I want to open some schools there we well as the USA, and Europe. I want to create my own big event or festival only for street dancers. My mom inspired me so so much, and I want to give children and rising dancers what she gave to me. So, I keep going every day because of this."

Dream big

"From the first point I started dancing, I said to my mom (you can ask her) "Mom I want to be good enough so that one day I can live off dancing. I want to travel around the world, work and be a dancer forever. I want to teach. I want to join big battles and win a world championship." In 15 years, I've got everything that I said. So now... it's time for the next step. I’ve raised the level of hip-hop culture in Switzerland already, especially for popping, but I want to inspire and push the new generation to grow the scene even further. It’s time to set new goals and new dreams."
Watch Poppin'C and Ness in the final of Juste Debout 2017 below:

12 min

Popping Final

Poppin C and Ness go up against Hoan and Jaygee in an all-Parisian Popping Final at Juste Debout 2017.